Monday, December 29, 2014

Teaching Wellness, January 4

Going Green in 2015

Green behavior changes don't just benefit the environment - they improve your health and sense of well being and that of your community as well. Guest presenter Jeanne Kuntz identifies the Simple Seven Steps to ease into a smaller carbon footprint as you create healthy habits. Special guest Lakshmi Lambert will join Jeanne from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Lakshmi, a Mar Vista herbalist, has been collected debris from Santa Monica beach once a week for over a decade - a small but meaningful step for our planet. 

Eat foods in their original form. No processing to degrade food value, no packaging to deplete the environment. 

Walk or bike instead of driving whenever possible. You may end up shopping closer to home which is good for the small businesses in your neighborhood and fosters a sense of community, a stress-reducing bonus.

Get to know your neighbors. A recent Los Angeles Times article cited research that indicates people who have good relationships with their neighbors live happier, healthier lives. And when you are preparing those home-cooked meals, it’s so much easier to borrow a cup of sugar or a lemon from a neighbor than to drive your car to the market and back. A real stress-reducer!

Choose exercise options that have the lowest environmental impact while bringing you the greatest joy. Example: Instead of getting in your car and driving to the gym for an hour, and then driving back again, why not put on some of your favorite music and dance around the house? 

Prepare meals and eat them at home. You will burn about 250 calories for each meal you prepare. If you have young children, you will teach them a valuable skill which is empowering and a money saver.  

Stay connected to your motivators. Write them somewhere and review them often! 

Take time to just sit and be...even if it's only 5 minutes a day.

Stop by the Green Tent for tips on how to experiment with these ideas and incorporate the best into your life. Mar Vista resident and Green Committee co-chair Jeanne Kuntz is a certified wellness coach; learn more at her Teaching Wellness website. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Master Gardeners, Dec. 28

We’re so happy to see you! Great for the garden and if you’re one of the enlightened Mar Vistans who picked up a rain barrel, BRAVO!

The UCCE LA County Master Gardeners are back this month with FREE seeds for you to sow and plants for you to tend. This month pick up one of these delightful vegetal and herbal producers:

Sugar Ann Snap Peas — eat pod and all for a snappy treat

Summer Lettuce Bouquet — European Reds and Greens

Longstanding Cilantro — such a bright flavor

Heirloom Early Rapini (Broccoli rabe)  Eat leaves, stems and flowers!   

Italian Arugula
 — spicy salad greens

Correnta Hybrid Spinach — Popeye knew what was good for us!

Blue Borage — kicks it up spice-wise and OH so beautiful to look at, plus it makes other insects retreat and it’s got medicinal uses too! 

And don’t forget your kitties: We’ve planted up some mixed Greens Gourmet Cat Treat

Please recycle your plastic six packs by dropping them off with the Master Gardeners so they can continue planting seeds to give away at the Green Tent each month. 

Click here for great monthly gardening tips for Southern California. And remember, be water wise; you can get great information online at:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Seed Freedom & GMO-free Zone, December 21


A coalition of Los Angeles area seed and food garden activists launched Seed Freedom LA in 2012 to make Los Angeles a GMO Free Zone! 

Working with our Mayor and our City Council, SFLA will ensure the food grown in our school, community and home gardens remain GMO free! One of the group's founders, David King will be at the Green Tent to introduce Seed Freedom Los Angeles and talk about GMOs.

Many plants are wind pollinated. GMO plants have the GMO gene 

in every cell including their pollen so those wind-pollinated GMO plants (corn and beets are the terrible two right now) can cross with the corn and beets growing in your gardens making your plants GMO. Come by the booth and learn what you can do to prevent your plants from turning into GMO plants!

There aren't many GMO-type commercial farmers here within Los Angeles. Creating large geographic areas which are pure of genetic engineering provides greater security as we save seeds for the future, and do our part to secure our food supply.  
As seed-savers, Seed Freedom LA members understand that our city gardens are great places to preserve heirloom and heritage seed varieties, because the genes won't become tainted by agricultural mishaps. The GMO-Free Zone will create a safe zone for saving and preserving heirloom seeds -- plus growers in the area will be able to call their food "GMO-free"!  Ultimately, a GMO-Free Zone will make great strides toward having a GMO-free local food supply. 

David King is the Gardenmaster of The Learning Garden
 on the grounds of Venice High School, one of our neighborhood's best source for horticultural information.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Chickens and Green Garden Showcase, December 14

Cluck, cluck, cluck...

Are you interested in keeping chickens? They provide delicious eggs and great fertilizer for the garden. 

Visit the Green Tent on Sunday, December 14th to chat with chicken owners and learn how you can start keeping your own flock. Find out more about city codes, tips for healthy chickens and much more!

Our guests - including our own Christy Wilhelmi (Gardenerd) - are all members of the Los Angeles Urban Chicken Enthusiasts Meet Up Group, and live in the Los Angeles area. 

We'll also have information about the 2015 Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase. We are experiencing a long-term drought, and ustainable gardens are long term water savers. The Green Garden Showcase is dedicated to encouraging them to sprout throughout Mar Vista. 

We are currently looking for gardens to showcase; click here to see a map of the areas where we're looking. Would you like to be a garden scout? Are you interested in showing your garden in the 2015 tour? Do you have questions about converting to a drought tolerant garden? Stop by and chat.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tree People, December 7

Rain Barrels are sold out!

If you ordered a rain barrel, pick it up Sunday, Dec. 7, 8:30a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in the Grand View School parking lot (3871 Grand View Blvd.)

The next Truckload Sale at the Mar Vista Farmers' Market is January 11, 2015

Stop by the Green Tent for ordering information or to ask the experts about rain barrels. Tree People will be on hand to tell you everything you need to know about rain barrels: installation, care, how to paint them. They'll also have lots of water saving tips. And you'll have an opportunity to see what the rain barrels look like.

Embrace nature's solution to our emerging water shortage, and explore all the opportunities that fresh, soft chemical free water offers.

Local retailers sell these rain barrels for $130-$150. Rain Barrels International and TreePeople ‘s truckload sale lets you purchase them at cost, for $85 each! 
MWD/DWP’s SoCalWaterSmart program offers rebates of up to $100 for up to 4 barrels, making the barrels FREE! 

These barrels are a high quality...opaque, metal parts, food grade re-purposed containers that contained no no risk of ants. You can collect 275 gallons of rain with 4 barrels. 

Rain barrels have been used for centuries. In recent years, high water bills, global warming and water restrictions have all made the rain barrel more than a gardening tool for those with a green thumb. 

Residential irrigation can account for up to 40% of domestic water consumption. Water conservation measures such as rain barrels can reduce the demand on the municipal water system. During a storm, even a light one, it doesn’t take much time for a rain barrel to fill with enough water for your lawn and plants to thrive. And your plants love rain water!